The struggle to effectively communicate your work is something that NGOs of all sizes suffer from. It is crucial for both raising funds and awareness, as well as instilling donor confidence in an organisation’s work. Yet, there is not much training available on it, especially for smaller, frontline NGOs. ARISE’s mission is to build up frontline networks to effectively do their job; so I was delighted when the Albanian country group invited me to provide some training on this exact topic.
My training was unfortunately brief, and could only provide guidance for the process of creating better communications and PR, rather than providing an in-depth solution. It is my hope, however, that it will have provided each attendee with a better sense of how they might – for not much cost – produce better PR and communications materials. Each of the organisations do fantastic work and hopefully the training will give them some better tools to be able to inform donors and others of what they do.
Each of these smaller organisations, by themselves, could not have afforded such a training. This is where RENATE as a network can offer such value by convening the training for all the country members, thus lowering the cost for each. It is one area where being in a network can add immense value to frontline organisations. I would encourage RENATE and other country groups within international networks to invest in more of these solid trainings for its frontline members. Hopefully, they will result in impactful change far outside what each organisation can afford alone.
Luke de Pulford, Director at the ARISE Foundation is quick to add his support, stating “Unfortunately, fundraising is now so highly specialised that success feels out of reach for so many smaller NGOs. We cannot turn a blind eye to this if we care about frontline anti-trafficking work. Training is a part of it. But this is a two-way street. We need the funding community to change and learn, too, discovering new ways of appreciating the impact of smaller, local NGOs and civil society efforts rather than defaulting to large charity bureaucracies.”
Ana Stakaj, co-ordinator of the RENATE members in Albania, was delighted with the attendance of 25 members, which included a member from Kosovo, (CARITAS Kosovo) who travelled especially for the meeting. The evaluations indicated the training was excellent and most professional. People left very satisfied and glad of the opportunity now to take time to absorb all that had been presented and discussed.
For more on the ARISE Foundation:
Whilst there for a reconnoitre visit, to our amazement, doors were open to us every where, in particular in Fátima, through the offer of accommodation and excellent Conference facilities.
Preparations are now well under way as members of the RENATE Assembly working group met in Portugal to explore possibilities.
Our short visit to Fatima went beyond our expectations. We were able to complete the next stage of the planning and have secured the Santuário de Fátima for both the accommodation & conference facilities which will be specifically allocated to the 120 RENATE delegates coming from across Europe for the week.
We are very grateful to Mr. Claudio Clómónte for his tour of the facilities and he will continue to liaise with us as we finalise preparations.
Our afternoon visit to the city of Lisbon went very well and we will rely on the guidance and experience of our seven Portuguese RENATE members as we continue to prepare for a fruitful and very special Assembly in Fátima.
Pope Francis declared that: “Human trafficking a crime of the “commercialization of the other”
RENATE President Imelda Poole (IBVM), Sr Maria Luisa Puglisi AASC, (RENATE Member and elected Core group Member), director of the Fundación Amaranta, and RENATE Communications Person, Anne Kelleher and Caritas Albania, among 200 participants, attended the private audience with Pope Francis.
Pope Francis condemned trafficking in human beings as one of the most dramatic manifestations of the “commercialization of the other”, a crime against humanity that disfigures both the victims as well as those who carry it out.
Please read the full article written by Vatican News:
In Albanian language: https://www.vaticannews.va/sq/papa/news/2019-04/papa-trafiku-eshte-krim-kunder-njerezimit-dhe-e-kthen-njeriun.html?fbclid=IwAR1Ckaj16sf-n3yKISRe2eG3X6oe2TiZaKrKJG6BE8MrUdZYScsFRzQxDzY
Members of the RENATE Network in Albania gathered for the first ever country group meeting for RENATE. Those present represented all the main organisations involved in direct action against Human Trafficking and Exploitation in Albania.
At the annual meeting of the RENATE Working Board last November (2018), board members suggested having greater engagement amongst the members within each country that makes up the RENATE network.
In response, Albanian country representatives met together to reflect on their work and how Albania can influence the field of anti-trafficking. RENATE President, Sr. Imelda Poole, IBVM, MBE, together with RENATE Board members Ana Stakaj and Gazmir Memaj, were present, as well Anne Kelleher, RENATE Communications Person and Claudia Conroy, the new secretary of RENATE.
This was an opportunity to gather and share information about our in the field of anti-trafficking in Albania and collaborate on what the next steps are for developing our work. During this meeting all members compiled a draft action plan and were encouraged to have meetings every two months. We are capable of making greater impact when we work collaboratively and accountably.
An in-person RENATE staff meeting took place for the first time on the 4th and 5th of April in Albania. These two days were full with staff presenting their work, their challenges, followed by discussion for deeper understanding of how we can better help and work with one another.
The RENATE Staff visited the MWL Women Advice Centre in Tirana where they met MWL staff psychologist and social worker, Irena Kraja and Arveda Baholli who work at the centre. This was an opportunity to share with RENATE staff the work of MWL in this advice centre, where they work every day with crisis cases and emergency needs in collaboration with MWL’s partners and Governmental institutions.
RENATE President Imelda Poole, Sr Maria Luisa Puglisi AASC, director of the Fundación Amaranta, and RENATE Communications Person, Anne Kelleher, were amongst approximately 200 delegates gathered at Fraterna Domus, in Sacrofino, near Rome to look concretely, pastorally and practically at the Church’s implementation of the POHT, favouring a deep appropriation and our working better in concert. It was a time of open and deep sharing and reflecting on how best to implement the Pastoral Orientations on Human Trafficking document, produced by the Vatican 17 January 2019.
(POHT) The POHT is the fruit of consultation with international Catholic organizations, religious congregations and Bishops’ Conference from all regions of the world. The document was approved by the Holy Father and has been signed by the two Under-Secretaries of the Migrants & Refugees Section.
The Conference planners and sponsors, chaired by the Migrant and Refugees Section, included Caritas Internationalis, the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, the International Catholic Migration Commission, Talitha Kum, the Santa Marta Group, and the Apostolate of the Sea. Each of these organisations played significant roles throughout the three days of the conference.
In terms of process, seven thematic sessions corresponding with the major topics treated in the POHT, were considered over the three days. Each of the seven sessions was introduced by two speakers, 15-minuteseach, providing background to the topic and questions for the discussion of 60 minutes. The themes were as follows:
Everyone agreed that at the end of the three days, we gained a greater appreciation of the Church’s teaching and ministry in terms of strengths, weaknesses, policy options as well as enhanced coordination worldwide.
We also had a deeper appreciation for our understanding of ‘Church’ not as an institution but more so as a communion of souls together, working together to ensure the dignity of the human person and in honour of the Gospel.
It was a hugely valuable time of reflection and hard work, underpinned by mutual respect and appreciation for each other’s contributions. We had great possibilities to build and forge links and understandings, which will support us in our future work together towards the implementation of the POHT over time.
By 11 April, we had collectively devised 500+ recommendations, which will be further refined and condensed before taking them further in terms of implementation at local parish and community levels.
The highlight of the work was the Papal audience on 11 April, where Pope Francis not only affirmed us in our work but encouraged us to ‘’…persevere in the mission – often risky and anonymous, but precisely because of this , irrefutable proof of your selfless generosity.’’ view more.
Full report and recommendations will be available in the coming weeks.
Prepared by Anne Kelleher, RENATE Communications.